Strategic Network Solutions for Healthcare Systems and Hospitals

Healthcare systems and hospitals need to have a strong, reliable network for all their operations. One of the most important components is a hospital’s Wi-Fi solution. This kind of system provides internet access to employees on every floor in the building.

There are many amazing innovations in healthcare. However, many care providers fall short when it comes to technology.

Strategic network solutions are a must for healthcare systems and hospitals. Here, we’ll look at a few ways to start building the right use case for your application.

To learn more about strategic network solutions for healthcare systems and hospitals, keep reading.

Common Pain Points for Healthcare Systems

One of the biggest challenges that today’s healthcare systems in hospitals face is connecting their networks in a meaningful way. A relatively new payment model continues to evolve. As it does, hospital systems, providers and patients increasingly face more risks.

As a result, the task of strengthening care coordination is a top priority for hospital leaders. Now, executives need the ability to control the key transactions behind all healthcare events. Appointments top that list.

There’s a diverse range of healthcare plans and systems. There’s no easy solution to this dilemma.

There are many different affiliates and network providers. Each has a different set of approaches and goals.

When it comes to implementing new technology, however, these organizations seem to share a common problem. They operate on a couple of common false assumptions.

First, many organizations believe that they must onboard an entire network at once for it to have value. Also, organizations worry they’ll lose control of their calendar if they implement new technology.

Homing in on Common Problem Areas H3

Both of these concerns are valid. However, there are ways to address them.

A good place to start with technology implementation is with high-volume providers. These individuals are candidates for technology upgrades as soon as possible.

By focusing on this group, your organization can realize immediate benefits. Providers will realize cost reductions in several ways, including:

  • Fewer penalties
    • Increased new patient acquisition
    • Less bad debt
    • More referrals
    • Reduced outmigration

In clinical settings, organizations should also focus on networkwide digital appointment scheduling. This feature shortens lead times between appointments and referrals.

It also prevents unnecessary readmissions. Furthermore, digital appointment scheduling improves follow-through on care.

In operations, organizations must work to improve staff efficiency. At the same time, they must protect the organizational calendar.

With a carefully implemented technology deployment, organizations can support better patient-provider matching. They can also decrease no-shows. On the back end, organizations can improve the accuracy of risk adjustment.

Today’s health organizations need real-time insight into their activities. Nearly all organizations produce a wealth of valuable analytical data.

Organizations must do a better job of using that information to make key business and clinical decisions. It’s also highly recommended to make use of data to drive behavioral change within an organization.

It’s not always easy to present these kinds of abstract value cases. The next hurdle of focusing on specific problems is often even higher. However, some insight into how to resolve these issues may help.

Hospital Cybersecurity H3

In relatively recent years, there’s been a dizzying array of technological advances in medicine. Still, many health care systems and hospitals continue to use outdated technology.

Unfortunately, outdated technology creates security holes. It’s this exact kind of security hole that hackers used to take down NHS in 2017.

It’s easy to upgrade a computer to the next operating system. However, the upgrade process isn’t as straightforward for medical equipment operating on an outdated OS.

Here, IT departments must avoid this problem whenever possible. They can do so by staying fluent in every operating system currently used by a facility.

Connectivity Challenges H3

When electronic health records (EHRs) emerged, immediate access to relevant patient data was the biggest selling point offered by tech vendors. Now, the adoption of that technology is complete.

Almost all hospitals use EHRs. Yet, many continue to have a problem with interoperability.

Overcoming this issue will require an industrywide adjustment. One way to make this vision a reality is to embrace cloud-based EHRs. This kind of technology offers a centralized database but still offers sufficient cybersecurity.

IT Management H3

Asset tracking using electronic health records is both a boon and a disaster. Today, medical workers can find anything with an RIFD tracking chip or a barcode.

Nevertheless, many physicians complain that poorly designed systems slow their work. In fact, they feel that the current state of their systems makes them a slave to patient records.

There’s no way to avoid EHRs in today’s environment. However, physicians can reduce the burden of using these systems greatly. The solution is for them to earmark time for system training.

In medicine, there’s a steep learning curve when implementing new technology. Stakeholders must have a comprehensive understanding of the solutions that they must use every day.

Anything less than a thorough understanding of how to use these tools can lead to practitioner error. Even worse, a lack of system knowledge can result in malpractice liability.

Sizing Up the Issue

Healthcare systems and hospitals can face a number of network challenges. A common challenge in caregiving settings is physical barriers that disrupt wireless signals.

In hospitals, there are many things that create physical limitations. Firstly, engineers design hospitals to support a massive amount of weight. As a result, everything in hospitals is usually load-bearing.

If an IT technician needs to drill a hole in the wall, they must get approval first. As a result, it can take years to retrofit a health facility with an updated wireless network.

Often, decision-makers do not consider how a location will affect signal strength when selecting a property. Nor do they think about the building materials used when erecting a new one.

In other cases, an urban healthcare organization may want to expand its medical campus. Typically, they’ll choose to do so by purchasing an older building.

However, these buildings were originally designed for a different purpose. As a result, they’re not conducive to the signaling needs of medical devices and equipment.

Finding Real-World Strategic Network Solutions H3

In part, this problem starts with the decision tree of those who designed the building. The stakeholders that fund the project also contribute to the issue.

When repurposing or raising a medical facility, who has the vision and technical literacy to consider the fastest Wi-Fi connections possible? With so many other concerns, most likely no one.

Today, even the most advanced hospitals are plagued by structural issues. Their walls block critical signals and have areas with weak or no connectivity.

Wi-Fi works on a high frequency. It has a small sine wave.

Small sine waves have difficulty penetrating various construction materials. Unfortunately, these materials are found in most facilities.

Also, engineers have historically designed older medical facilities with concrete walls and floors. There are also other instances where buildings were not originally built with wireless access in mind.

These circumstances present many challenges. It makes it difficult for IT professionals to introduce wireless devices into healthcare and hospital network infrastructure.

Within health systems, there is typically little interaction between the right people. There are those that manage the network infrastructure and those that plan clinical applications. These two groups are typically on two completely different pages.

Also, executives and IT staff often migrate to the health care environment from other industries to launch a new facility. When working in this environment for the first time, they most likely don’t understand the unique needs of the medical field.

As a result, there’s a gap. However, it’s important for organizations to bridge this gap.

There aren’t many leading healthcare systems that have figured out how to accomplish this task. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t understand the importance of collaboration between these two groups.

Network and infrastructure are the keys to the mobile kingdom. It’s critical to make sure that the end-users of networks are supported fully by decision-makers.

As people, we assume that the devices we depend on every day can operate in any environment. However, the healthcare environment is much more dynamic than any typical consumer setting.

Organizations can avoid these kinds of problems when deploying technology by working with an experienced consultancy. A service provider, such as OneWeb CEO, for instance, understands how to reconfigure devices specifically for healthcare settings.

Shoring Up Your Network

Now you know a bit more about strategic network solutions for healthcare systems and hospitals.

Healthcare systems are under constant pressure to do more with less. It can prove difficult for them to find the time or resources necessary to address and fix all of their common pain points.

However, this doesn’t mean that technology is always at fault. Sometimes effective communication is all that’s needed to fix an organization’s most pressing problems.

Check out our Service and Business section for more insights into running your enterprise efficiently.

 

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